Dear members of the Emerson College community,
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Daniel Hollis ‘22 from Mendon, Mass. died today, surrounded by his loving family. A sophomore majoring in Marketing Communications and a student athlete, Dan will be deeply missed by the many Emersonians who came to know and love him.
Early last Saturday morning, Dan and a group of his friends were involved in an altercation in Allston-Brighton. During the incident, Dan suffered a significant head injury and was transported to a Boston hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. Although the initial surgery was successful, tragically, Dan suffered irreparable damage to his brain, and he succumbed to his injuries today.
The Boston Police Department, with the assistance of the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, is conducting an active investigation of the assault.
At this time, the family has asked that we continue to focus on sharing the many ways in which Dan brightened our lives with his positive energy, his love of music, lacrosse, ice hockey, and most importantly, his friends and family.
Professor Fredericka King, whose course on the history of American Music was a favorite of Dan’s, recalled his “special bright smile – almost a surprise – and his lovely eyes” and wrote of a moment she shared with Dan: “One day he shared with me that he had gone to the Travis Scott performance at the Garden, and we watched the videos he had taken at the show, and we laughed and carried on about the huge amazing stage production and how great the music was.”
Dan’s lacrosse coach, Matt Colombini, recalled his infectious personality, energy, and how people were drawn to him. Coach Colombini wrote, “Simply, Dan is someone that people enjoy being around and look forward to seeing.”
Monday night, I had a chance to talk with Dan’s lacrosse teammates, who recounted his humor, effervescent smile and optimism. His positive outlook on all aspects of life buoyed the team, creating an environment of confidence and hope on and off the field. He was a superb athlete, who played both lacrosse and ice hockey. He stood 6’4” tall and had exceptional reach, which made him an effective goalie. In fact, though he was from a very small high school, he established a Massachusetts record for most lacrosse saves in a season.
In speaking with Jennifer Kelly, Dan’s mother, I learned what a precious and effecting gift he was to all who were privileged to know him and count him as a friend. He moved through the world with uncommon authenticity and humility. He had a generous heart. He was a giver, not a taker.
He loved life and life loved him. He was a young man maturing into the fullness of the person he was meant to be. No doubt, that is why the news of his death at such an early age has left us so breathless, our very spirits weakened and humbled by the news, leaving us, as the poet Matthew Arnold wrote,
… here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight.
Dan is survived by his loving family: his mother Jennifer, father Jason, and older sister Kate.
Support for the Emerson College Community
Counselors in ECAPS are available for students during the day, including walk-in hours from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. After business hours, a counselor can be reached by phone by calling the After Hours Crisis line at 617-824-8595 and pressing “1” at the prompt.
The Center for Spiritual Life (4th floor of 172 Tremont Street) will be open this evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for those who would like to gather for quiet reflection or to receive support from Rev. Julie Avis Rogers, Campus Chaplain and Director for Spiritual Life.
On Thursday, October 3 at 12:00 p.m., Rev. Avis Rogers will lead a Community Vigil in the Semel Theatre (Tufte Building, 3rd floor). The Semel will also be open all day Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for quiet reflection.
Additionally, Rev. Avis Rogers will be available for conversation and support during open office hours in the Center for Spiritual Life on Thursday, October 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and this Friday, October 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. You can also reach out to her directly anytime to set up an appointment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College plans to hold a celebration of Dan’s life in the coming weeks, the details of which will be shared as soon as they become available.
Please keep Dan’s friends and loved ones in your thoughts during this difficult time.